Salads of Laos and Thailand tend not to focus on leafy greens but rather use meat, seafood, fruit and herbs as their main ingredients. Unlike green salads, this dish can be made several hours in advance and chilled until ready to serve.
Use a mini-food processor or blender to grind together the shallots, garlic, jalapeno, black pepper and sugar to form a smooth paste. Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the paste and process until well combined. Set aside.
To help grind the meat, chill the cubes of chicken thighs in a freezer for 15 minutes before mincing the meat.
Place the cold chicken meat into a large food processor and mince the chicken thighs by pulsing the machine until the meat is ground quite fine. Do not over process or the meat takes on a mousse-like texture.
Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoon of oil to the pan and sauté the minced chicken until the meat turns opaque, 4 to 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to help break up the minced chicken. Drain the meat in a sieve and transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Add the sliced shallots, chili and fresh herbs to the ground meat. Pour the dressing over the meat and mix well. Transfer the chicken onto a bed of lettuce and garnish. Serve at room temperature.